How to File Sales Tax

Depending on the number of locations you have registered under your Missouri tax identification number you will receive either a voucher booklet or a full page sales tax return to report sales for the corresponding filing period. If you do not have a sales tax return to file you may obtain one from our website here.

Sales tax returns may be filed on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Your filing frequency is determined by the amount of state tax (4 percent for regular locations and 1 percent for food locations) due. Local tax is not included when determining your filing frequency. The filing frequency is determined by the total state tax due on the return as a whole, not by each location.

Monthly - State taxes collected of $500 or more per month are to be reported on a calendar monthly basis.

Quarterly - State taxes collected above $45 per quarter but less than $500 per month should be filed on a calendar quarterly basis. The quarters are as follows: January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December.

Annually - State taxes collected less than $45 per quarter should be filed on an annual basis.

Your filing frequency is reviewed by the Department of Revenue on an annual basis. If the results of that review indicate that your filing frequency should be changed, we will notify you of the change and the effective date, typically the first filing period of the next calendar year.

Every business with a sales tax license is required to file a return even though no sales were made during the period covered by the return.

You must calculate the tax due for each of your business locations on the return. The tax amount is calculated using the following formula:

Gross receipts + - adjustments = Taxable sales x rate = amount of tax.

Access the detailed instructions on our website here.

Your sales tax return is considered timely if it is postmarked on or before the required due date. If a metered postmark differs from the U.S. Postal Service postmark, the U.S. Postal Service postmark will be used as evidence of timely filing.

The Director of Revenue will issue credits for any amounts overpaid on your account. Credits should not be taken without the prior approval of the Department. This credit should be claimed on the appropriate line on the return. The Department will apply any credits to prior or future balances on your account without notification.

Due Dates

Monthly returns are due on or by the 20th of the following month, except on quarter ending months. For example, your monthly February return is due on or before March 20. The due dates listed on the chart for quarterly returns should be followed when filing quarter ending months such as March, June, September and December.

Quarterly returns are due on or before the last day of the month following the end of the quarter. For example, your return for the January through March period would be due on or before April 30.

Annual returns are due on or before January 31 of the following year.

Download a copy of our current tax year calendar indicating due dates for all tax types.

When the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, your return will be considered timely filed if it is postmarked by the next business day.

Filing a Sales Tax Return Late

If your return is filed late interest and additions to tax may be charged.

Interest may be calculated in two ways:

  1. Multiply the total amount of tax due by the current annual percentage rate. Multiply the result by the number of days late. Then divide that amount by 365 (366 if within a leap year). The following are examples based on 5% interest rate.

    Example:
    $100.00 x 5% = $5.00 x 30 days late = $150.00
    $150.00 divided by 365 = $.41

  2. Multiply the total amount of tax due by the daily rate. Multiply the result by the number of days late.

    Example:
    $100.00 x .0001370 = $.0137
    $.0137 x 30 days late = $.41

Additions to tax is a penalty charged for failure to pay or failure to file the required sales tax return(s) by the due date.

When your sales tax return has been filed, but not paid by the required due date, you should calculate your penalty by multiplying the tax amount due by 5 percent. This penalty does not increase.

When no sales tax return has been filed, you should calculate your penalty by multiplying the tax amount due by 5 percent for each month you are late. This penalty increases each month you fail to file the return. The maximum amount of penalty is 25 percent.

Note: Interest should not be calculated on the amount of additions to tax due.

Please visit our website to use our interest and additions calculator.

Change in Business Location

To add or close a business location, please complete a Registration Change Request Form 126 or contact a customer service representative at businesstaxregister@dor.mo.gov or call (573) 751-5860. If you are adding a location it may not appear on your next preprinted form. If it does not, please write it in at the bottom of the locations listed on the preprinted form.  A Sales/Use Tax Bond may be required for additional locations added to your account.

If you want to close a location please enter "Closed" and the date the business location closed in the gross receipts area of your return.

Reporting Food Sales

You should not include food sales in the figures reported on the full tax rate line. Food sales should be reported on the line for food sales only. If you qualify for food sales and you do not find a location for food on your return, please contact the Taxation Division, (573) 751-5860.

Nonfood Items/Food Items:

The term "non-food items" include those products not listed under the Federal Food Stamp Program.

The term "food items" include only those products and types of food for which food stamps may be redeemed pursuant to the Federal Food Stamp Program as contained in 7 USC Section 2012.

A business whose gross receipts from sales of food and drink prepared by the business for immediate consumption, either on or off the premises, and are 80% or less of its total gross receipts, must remit tax on its qualifying food sales at a reduced state tax rate of 1.225% plus any applicable local tax. Sales of qualifying food through vending machines are also subject to the reduced tax rate. See Section 144.014, RSMo, for further information.

Time Sales

If you report your sales tax on a cash basis (you report tax at the time payment is received) and you do not receive payment until after a rate change occurs, you will need to report this sale differently from your other sales. This type of transaction is considered a "time sale".

To report "time sales":

  1. Fill out a separate return indicating the filing period in which the sale(s) was actually made.
  2. Write "time sales" on the face of the return. (If "time sales" is not written on the return there is a possibility that the return could be processed as a late filed additional return.)
  3. Calculate the tax due using the rate that was in effect at the time of the sale and put the rate on the return.

If you do not report your sales tax on a cash basis, you report the tax at the rate in effect on the date the sale took place, regardless of when payment is received.

Sales Tax Rates

To obtain the current rate for a particular city and/or county and a rate chart, you may visit our Sales/Use Tax Rate Tables or contact us at (573) 751-2836.

Most local sales tax increases/decreases take effect on the first day of each calendar quarter. Your business will only be notified of the changes that directly affect your registered business locations. This information will be mailed to the address currently on file with the Department in the month prior to the effective of the rate change. Failure to be notified does not relieve you of the tax.

Common Filing Mistakes to Avoid

Every business with a sales tax license is required to file a return even though no sales were made during the period covered by the return.

Make sure you are using the correct sales tax rate for your business location. To obtain the current rate for a particular city and/or county and a rate chart, you may visit our Sales/Use Tax Rate Tables or contact us at (573) 751-2836.

Use the correct form to submit your sales tax return. If you do not have a sales tax return to file you may obtain one from our website here.

Taxable sales should equal the total amount of sales after you take into account those sales that are not subject to sales tax or add sales/purchases in which you did not pay tax, but now need to report tax. These sales are claimed in the adjustments column of your return. Your taxable sales should always equal your gross receipts plus/minus any adjustments.

Negative taxable sales cannot be filed for a location on the return. When the credits allowed are greater than the tax collected, an amended return and an Application for Refund/Credit must be filed for the period in which the sales were actually filed.

Applying for a Refund or Credit

To apply for a refund/credit of tax previously paid you must submit the following:

  • A completed Form 472B, Application for Tax Refund/Credit
  • Amended sales/use tax returns for the periods in which the sales or purchases were originally reported
  • A worksheet supporting the refund/credit claim
  • Copies of invoices supporting the refund/credit claim
  • Copies of the exemption certificates if applicable

Filing a Sales/Use Tax Return under Protest

Enter what it means to file a return under Protest

  • A taxpayer may make a tax payment under protest if the taxpayer believes one or more of the transactions on which tax is remitted were not subject to tax under Missouri law

You must submit the following:

  • Sales tax figures on the Form 163 for protested amounts and Form 2039 for non-protested amounts. The Form 163 Protest Affidavit must be signed and notarized.
  • Use tax figures on the Form 2041 for protested amounts and Form 2038 for non-protested amounts. The Form 2041 Protest Affidavit must be signed and notarized.